FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Sunday 12/1/19

Which players stand out on FanDuel's three-game main slate?

If you're new to daily fantasy basketball -- maybe you started your DFS journey during the MLB or NFL seasons, or maybe basketball is your sport and this will be your first year giving it a shot -- you're in for a treat. The NBA scene changes on a week-to-week, day-to-day, and -- depending on injury news -- even a minute-to-minute basis, making every slate a unique one that requires an ever-changing approach.

With so much changing so quickly, we're here with plenty of tools to help you out. We have daily projections, a matchup heat map, a lineup optimizer, and a bunch of other great resources to help give you an edge.

Daily fantasy NBA is very reliant on opportunity, so you'll need to make sure that you're up-to-date with key injuries. Our projections update up until tip-off to reflect current news, we have player news updates, and the FanDuel Scout app will send push notifications for pressing updates regarding your players.

We'll also be coming at you with this primer every day, breaking down a few of the day's top plays at each position.

Let's take a look at who you should target on today's main slate.

The Slate

Away Home Over/
Washington LA Clippers 238.5 -12.5 113.00 125.50 5 6
Utah Toronto 210.0 -2.5 103.75 106.25 16 11
Golden State Orlando 205.0 -8.5 98.25 106.75 13 27

It's a three-game main slate, and one game is miles and miles and miles ahead of the rest. That's the matchup with the Washington Wizards and Los Angeles Clippers. Both teams are top-six in offensive pace, and the total is 28.5 points higher than either of the other two.

Point Guard

Starting at the top, Fred VanVleet ($8,200) is viable but rates out with a lot of bust potential (relative to his price) against the Utah Jazz, according to my model. The better floor play is Mike Conley ($6,400) on the other side of that game. Conley rates as numberFire's top value -- and mine as well. Conley and VanVleet is a doable combination on the short slate and one that should elevate your lineup's floor.

Players in that Wizards/Clippers game are going to get a boost relative to everyone else. That points us toward Isaiah Thomas ($4,600) for a cheap price. Thomas' role leads to minutes in the mid-20s, and his usage rate is 21.7% on the season. For the added possessions, Thomas gets a bump over the Orlando Magic options.

Core Plays: Mike Conley, Fred VanVleet
Secondary Plays: Isaiah Thomas, D.J. Augustin ($4,800)
Tournament Plays: Markelle Fultz ($5,600), Patrick Beverley ($5,800)

Shooting Guard

Bradley Beal ($9,400) and Lou Williams ($7,300) are part of that premier game, and they rate out a tier above the other shooting guard options from a floor/ceiling combination in my model. Each should surpass 30 minutes in a shootout, and Beal averages 1.22 FanDuel points per minute on a 30.2% usage rate. He'll have a tough perimeter matchup, but the added possessions can help make up for that.

Terrence Ross ($4,400) is the top shooting guard in my model today, and teammate Evan Fournier ($6,300) isn't far behind, as the Magic get matchup with the 29th-ranked Golden State Warriors defense. Ross averages just 0.78 FanDuel points per minute but should elevate that average in such a plush matchup.

Core Plays: Louis Williams, Terrence Ross
Secondary Plays: Bradley Beal, Evan Fournier
Tournament Plays: Donovan Mitchell ($8,400), Jordan McRae ($4,200)

Small Forward

Paul George ($9,100) is actually cheaper than Pascal Siakam ($9,300) despite a much better matchup. Their range of outcomes are virtually identical in my model. Siakam will play more minutes, but George's minutes will be more fruitful against the Wizards. George gets the nod if you can roster only one.

Glenn Robinson III ($4,800) and the Warriors have the lowest total on the board. However, he's priced down $600 after going 0 for 10 from the field last game in 29 minutes. Robinson has scoring upside and had put up at least 25.7 FanDuel points in three straight before his dud. At 0.73 FanDuel points per minute, Robinson is mostly an attrition play, but his minutes make him a safe option on a short slate.

Core Plays: Paul George, Glenn Robinson
Secondary Plays: Pascal Siakam, Joe Ingles ($4,200)
Tournament Plays: OG Anunoby ($5,300), Alec Burks ($6,200)

Power Forward

Three power forwards look like priority options on this slate. Kawhi Leonard ($10,200) and JaMychal Green ($4,000) are two. That game is extra juicy tonight. Leonard has generated 1.52 FanDuel points per minute and a 34.5% usage rate. Only seven players have a 75th-percentile outcome higher than Leonard's 25th-percentile outcome in my model. Green ranks as numberFire's second-best power forward value. He projects for 20 minutes in that uptempo game. Washington is just 27th in rebounding rate.

The other cut-above-the-rest power forward play is Aaron Gordon ($6,100). Nikola Vucevic is still out, Gordon faces the Warriors, and he played 32 minutes in his return from injury. He shot just 2 for 11 but still hauled in 8 boards and 29.8 FanDuel points -- while struggling mightily with his shot. He can pay off even without the scoring tonight.

Core Plays: Kawhi Leonard, Aaron Gordon
Secondary Plays: JaMychal Green, Khem Birch ($4,500)
Tournament Plays: Eric Paschall ($5,800), Rui Hachimura ($4,900)


My model is in love with Thomas Bryant ($6,300), and for the price and matchup, I don't hate it one bit. Bryant's floor/ceiling combo is best on the slate, per my model. He is twice as likely to return 6.0 or more FanDuel points per $1,000 than he is to fall below 4.0. numberFire places his median projection at 39.1 FanDuel points, highest among all centers and good for 6.2 FanDuel points per $1,000.

Ivica Zubac ($3,800) is cheap exposure to those extra possessions in the Clippers/Wizards game. Zubac averages a healthy 1.30 FanDuel points per minute on an 18.3% usage rate. He'll get around 18 minutes, which caps his upside, but the productive player gets a cake matchup against the Wizards' weak interior.

Core Plays: Thomas Bryant, Ivica Zubac
Secondary Plays: Mohamed Bamba ($4,700), Marc Gasol ($5,400)
Tournament Plays: Willie Cauley-Stein ($5,200), Montrezl Harrell ($7,600)